Kerr Regional History Center and Archives

425 Water Street
Kerrville, Texas 78028
(830) 258-1278

History Center Hours:

"We regret that the History Center will be closed starting June 1, 2014,

for approximately 3 months to repair the structural damage on the building."



1856: Camels Arrive in Kerr County, Texas


In the mid-1800s, the U.S. Army, under the direction of Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, imported camels to study their potential use in the Southwest in the time before railroads. The experiment was conducted in Kerr County, Texas at Camp Verde. Back then, in the words of an Army Major, it takes on average one year for a wagon with mules to get from San Antonio to El Paso and back, but a camel will journey from San Antonio to El Paso and back 4 times within a year.

At the Kerr Regional History Center, a 6-volume set of copies of the original government documents, in the handwriting of the participants, details the decisions made from 1843-1866 that impacted this unique study from beginning to end. This is not a simple story about sending some men with a ship to bring camels to the U.S. There is international intrigue involving a disreputable man who wanted the contract from the Government to provide camels.  Extensive research was done on different camels and how to care for them. A daily log was kept on the Navy ship bringing the camels across the Atlantic.


Once in Texas, there was a search for the best location for the experiment. The History Center is the only place where these documents, known as The Camel Files, are available for viewing, bound and organized in chronological order, as a result of efforts by the Kerrville Genealogical Society.


Census Microfilm:


Local Newspapers on Microfilm with Indices


Local Cemetery Survey Books


Funeral Home Records


Obituaries from Local Newspapers


Book Sections for Every State in the Union


History Books from Kerr County's Neighbors


State Marriage Record
and Cemetery Publications

Pleasant, Comfortable Research Areas


Copy Machine at reasonable cost

(click on each picture to see it full-size)

Books & Reading Room

Computers & Local Books

CDs & Microfilm Room

Microfilm Readers & CD Computers

Reference Books On:


Genealogy Research

Local and State Records 

Census Research

United States Genealogy

Interviews & Oral Histories of Pioneer Kerr
County Residents


Internet Access on the History Center Computers

Help with Your  Research from Genealogical Society Members


Kerr County
Early Court and Marriage Records on Microfilm

State Death Indices

Visit the Kerr Regional History Center and Archives
During Your Next Trip to Kerrville

Back to Kerrville Genealogical Society Home Page